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If you’re a journalist, wear a target on your back

  1. Nov 11, 2003 #1
    The US govt has been accused of murdering independent journalists during the war in Iraq. On April 8 the US military launched 2 separate attacks on the Arabic media networks al-Jazeera & Abu Dhabi TV. Both networks had notified the US military of their exact location so as to avoid the risk of ‘collateral damage’. US sources claimed their forces had fired in self-defence after being attacked, a claim contradicted by eyewitnesses. On the same day, the US bombed the Palestine Hotel, which had become a base for journalists. The Pentagon again claimed their forces had been fired on first. David Chater, a British journalist who survived the bombing, said there was no gunfire from the hotel. Other journalists reported seeing the tank carefully select its target and take some minutes to aim before firing. Of 17 journalists killed in the brief war, only 2 were ‘embedded’ – a phrase referring to journalists who were allowed to follow the US military closely and who generally gave an uncritically pro-US view on the war. Aidan White from the International Federation of Journalists said “It’s impossible not to detect a sinister pattern of targeting”. When these claims were aired by ABC reporter Linda Mottram on the ‘AM’ program, they attracted one of many complaints of bias against the ABC by Liberal Senator Richard Alston. The resulting enquiry described Ms Mottram’s comments as showing serious bias.
    (Source: Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper)

    This article was produced verbatim, with kind permission from the ‘Anarchist Age Weekly Review’.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2003 #2
    Well, I have also read a few interesting reports about U.S. authorities in Iraq suppressing the free press in Iraq, because it is anti-American...OF COURSE a free media is going to be against the foreign invading force! Then again, it is the same as the fact that any democratic Iraq is also going to be anti-American.
  4. Nov 12, 2003 #3
    We are not just any foreign invading force. We are fighting a war with the previous gov't of Iraq and the terrorists. I have not heard of this targeting of journalists and will have to look into it, I'm shocked. Why have I not heard it? Wouldn't all the affected networks as least fleetingly mention that one or more of their journalists have been killed by 'freindly fire'? I have to say, consider the source. Are they (Anarchist (etc.)) the only ones reporting it? They don't sound particularly reliable to me.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2003
  5. Nov 12, 2003 #4
    You should try reading a bunch...Check the sticky at the top of the board, and do some searching. This has been reported in the mainstream media of every other country except the U.S., after all.
  6. Nov 12, 2003 #5
    Some of those I have not heard of, some I have witnessed to be biased. I wish there was just one that I could be sure wasn't.
  7. Nov 12, 2003 #6


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    This isn't really true. Studies of reporting from such sources show that the embedded journalists were not compromised, at least not more than other journalists were. Rather, they have a tendency, due to the amount of the access the military permitted, to give a more sanitised version of the war. Additionally, they were usually the ones provided with official briefings from the army, which they generally published as true, very many of which turned out to be completely wrong. (eg. repeated claims to have located WMDs, claims that Saddam was killed, the Basra "uprising", the Iraqi ghost tank column etc etc)

    Actually, there is good reason why is this little reported in the US - prior to the war, US major news networks pulled out almost all of their journalists in the field (especially within Baghdad) and depended on embedded units/footage from foreign networks. This was not the case for journalists from other countries. This is little reported because there is little new to report. The US army have not carried out much (or any) public inquiry into these incidents.


    But I don't think it is time to cry conspiracy just yet.
  8. Nov 12, 2003 #7
    In those two articles it is mentioned that Al-Jazeera and Abu-Dabhi TV where damaged in some way I don't recall. I personally have no sympathy for them and though it is wrong if the US did it on purpose, I do see the temptation, since those two are like the National Enquirer, and aren't really helping their fellow Iraqis by being that way. Speaking of which, I saw the funniest headline on one of the tabloids: Hussein and Bin Laden Adopt Hairless Baby Monkey! Where do they come up with this stuff, why do they bother, and who are the idiots buying this stuff?!(rhetorical, don't want to hijack this thread)
  9. Nov 13, 2003 #8
    You see the temptation of murdering people who disagree with you? You have no sympathy for people or their families, for reporting the truth as they saw it?
  10. Nov 14, 2003 #9
    NO, MY GOD, NO! I see the temptation of shutting people up (not necessarily by killing them) who know they are lying, who say stupid things like the National Enquirer always says. I only see the temptation, but I do not condone the act, because there is still the small chance that the nonsense peddlers are in fact right once in a while (have you seen Conspiracy Theroy (with Mel Gibson?)?)
  11. Nov 14, 2003 #10
    Actually, when it comes to politics, the voices that are most likely to be suppressed, or accused of being unpatriotic, turn out to be the ones telling the truth.
  12. Nov 14, 2003 #11
    I agree, I just saw a show about some teenagers in Nazi Germany publishing the truth, and they were tried, and one put to death, for the treason of spreading antiNazi 'propoganda'. I forget the name, starts with H. Anyway, it is true, once in a while National Enquirer has real news and I assume so does Al Jazeera etc., it is merely tempting, esp. since I'm so sure that a lot of the stuff they publish is made up. I think that if it is provable that someone was selling news papers and it is provable that they made something in it up, they should be fined, and if done repeatedly, shut down. THe problem with this is that if a corrupt person with ties to a corrupt gov't amkes this accusation, then a good news paper will be destroyed. I just wish there was a way to protect free speech and not the garbage with it.
  13. Nov 14, 2003 #12


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    Staff: Mentor

    Thats the double-edged sword of free speech. You can't have it both ways. So we have to live with KKK marches and MSNBC.
  14. Nov 14, 2003 #13
    Yep...we have to have the truth, or racist lies...you have to accept both, or you risk losing the good wi6th the bad. Censoring the news isn't the answer...and neither is blowing up the buildings of news organizations that disagree with your propaganda.
  15. Nov 15, 2003 #14
    Now Zero, you now that's not right, Al-Jazeera is probably 80% truth and 20% propaganda, while if our gov't has any it is lower than that, say at least 85% truth and 15% propoganda.
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